[This was originally posted December 10, 2015]

red herring (15c)  1 : a herring cured by salting and slow smoking to a dark brown color  2 : [fr. the practice of drawing a red herring across a trail to confuse hunting dogs] : something that distracts attention from the real issue

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition)

The negative association attached to the Confederate Flag is a red herring.

Christian Americans’ stereotype of Muslims is a red herring.

Donald Trump’s personality (specifically demonstrated in his theatrics) is a red herring.

We must recognize red herrings for what they are–red herrings.

State and local governments, in alliance with corporate retailers, have completely censored all Confederate flags–and these mass shootings continue.

If all Muslims were denied entry or reentry into the United States, even if all Muslims in the United States were deported–these mass shootings would continue.

And if Donald Trump were elected President of the United States–these mass shootings would continue (and Trump would inevitably start a global thermonuclear war).

We must stop allowing our attention to be distracted by these red herrings–and start focusing on the real issues.

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